Firstly, athletes must comply with the current Olympic Charter, the document that sets forth rules and guidelines for Olympic athletes and the Olympic Games. Olympics Athletics followers from all over the world can buy Olympics Athletics tickets online.

It’s a hefty 103-page file that includes rules such as the “citizenship requirement rule” (Rule 41) that states athletes must be a “national” of the country they represent in the competition. And, of course, Rule 43, which details the World Anti-Doping Code and the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of Manipulation of Competitions.

How do athletes qualify to surf at the Olympics 2020 Games?

A total of 40 surfers will qualify for surfing at the Olympics 2020. A maximum of four surfers can compete from each country’s National Olympic Committee — the governing body in each country that regulates athlete participation in the Olympics 2020. 

Athletes will qualify for the Olympics 2020 if they meet performance qualification criteria at one of the following events: 

  • World Surf League Championship Tour: 10 men and eight women
  • ISA World Surfing Games: Four men and four women
  • ISA World Surfing Games: Four men and six women

Continental representation: With the exception of North and South America, the highest-placed eligible athlete from each continent at the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games (someone who didn’t yet qualify) gains one spot. For the Americas, continental representation comes from the highest-placed eligible athlete (who hasn’t already qualified through other events) at the 2019 Pan American Games. 

Host nation slot: The Olympic 2020 Games guarantees one male and one female place for the host nation, in this case, Japan. If athletes from Japan qualify regularly (through one of the events above), the host nation’s slots will be reallocated to the highest-ranked eligible surfers from the 2020 World Surfing Games.

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How do athletes qualify to surf at the Olympics 2020 Games?

When and where is surfing happening?

The 2020 Olympic Games surfing program will take place at Tsurigasaki Beach in Chiba, Japan from July 24 to August 9, 2020.

What will the events be like? 

Surfing consists primarily of two disciplines: Shortboard and longboard. At the Olympics 2020, all athletes will surf shortboard. A shortboard refers to any board that’s shorter than seven feet in length. They usually have a pointed nose and are lightweight. They’re designed to be quick and accurate and are more suited to fast and powerful waves than are longboards. 

In heats of 20 to 30 minutes, Olympic judges will analyze four athletes at a time, with the top two scorers advancing to the next round. 

Because surfing conditions are so variable, the IOC has allowed for the surfing competition to take place over 16 days in the case that the weather presents safety concerns or unfair circumstances.

How will the athletes be judged?

Judges will rate athletes on the type and difficulty of maneuvers performed. One example of an advanced surfing move is the aerial, where a surfer finds a ramp within a wave and launches off of the lip, gains air and lands back on the face of the wave. For even more jaw drops, a surfer would spin in a complete circle while in the air and still manage to land gracefully — a surfing move known as the 360.

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How do athletes qualify to surf at the Olympics 2020 Games?

The judges will also account for speed, power, and flow. Like other Olympic events, judges will score surfers from 1 to 10 with two decimals, for example, 7.91. 

Only one surfer may ride a wave at any given time, and athletes may lose points for failing to use common surfer etiquette, which rules that the surfer closest to the peak of a wave has right of way for that wave. 

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